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All Ireland senior A College’s final:

Drom & Inch, 2pm.

St Brigid’s College, Callan (holders) v Portumna CS.


This Kilkenny/Galway clash promises to be a cracking final with many experienced players on both sides.


Much has been documented about Portumna over the past few weeks and their St Patrick’s Day date with De La Salle of Waterford in the All Ireland club hurling final. However, Portumna CS is making its own bit of history – as well as being in the All Ireland senior camogie College’s final this Saturday, their hurlers play Gort in the Connacht senior hurling final the following Saturday.


This weekend’s occasion is all the more special as the south east Galway school have never won an All Ireland schools’ title. They lost a few junior finals and a senior decider in the early 00’s. Now, according to manager Pat Kelly, the excitement is rising. And with county players Sinead Cahalan and Ann Marie Hayes lending their support, the Maroon and White representatives will be keen to impress.


Many families too will play side by side, as brothers and sisters line out for their respective teams. Maria Breheny and her brothers Padraigh and John will be hoping for a haul of medals. Likewise, Claire Killeen and her brother Paul will be determined to achieve double success. So too, will Aine and Michael Dervan.


Another to watch for is Ruth Kilkenny, the corner back is daughter of Tony and niece of Ollie – both famed Galway hurlers. Ollie won back to back All Ireland medals in ’87 and ’88. Another brother, Frank is vice-principal of the school.


Kelly is hopeful that his camogie team will kick-start the week. His charges have benefitted from a tough semi-final win over St Mary’s Magherafelt and the hope is that Tara Rutledge, Ann Marie Starr and captain Amanda Lynch will show the way.


However, experienced goalkeeper Helen Campbell and centre back Claire Killeen will have to be at their best to stop the Leinster and All Ireland champions. Kelly says Callan will be tough opponents.

“”Callan play typical Kilkenny hurling, going for goals. They scored six against Christ King, Cork. But our forwards are capable of scoring too. We will have to make sure we don’t concede goals.””


St Brigid’s are a formidable outfit, as proved in their second half display against Christ King in the semi-final. Up front Shelly Farrell, Denise Gaule, Ciara Holden, Katie McDonald and Anna Farrell will enough firepower to put away any team. Shelly Farrell was particularly devastating in that game netting 3-3.


The fact that the Kilkenny outfit have been though this before will be an advantage. And having come through the Cork team twice will also be of benefit. Still, hunger and passion are the main components for any win. This game is certainly worth the trip to Tipp.


All Ireland senior B College’s final:

Ratoath, 2.30pm.

Blackwater CS Lismore v St MacNissi’s, Garron Tower, Co Antrim.


What a year it has been for the Blackwater Community School. In æ08 they claimed the All Ireland C Colleges’s trophy while their boys went on to win the All Ireland B hurling silverware. Now, 12 months on, the girls have made their way to the All Ireland B decider. Just two weeks ago they were decisive winners against Sacred Heart, Tullamore in Nowlan Park.


School principal Denis Ring is steeped in GAA, and consequently is very proud of his school’s achievements. No doubt, it will be a big day for Waterford camogie and what a boost it would be if they manage to pull it off.


They have many fine players who have performed throughout Munster and the All Ireland trail. The likes of Rachel Whelan, Catriona McKeown, Aoife Hannon, Michelle Tobin, Sarah Fenton, Marie Russell and Ruth Geoghean.


Antrim side, St MacNissi’s have arrived on merit too. Seamus McAleenan (brother of Down player Maureen), Claire Kelly (nee McManus) who has Ulster College’s medals with St Patrick’s Maghera and Michelle O’Toolle are the driving force behind this school, where camogie was introduced just three years ago.


On the field, they are led by Maria McManus whose brother Neil starred for Cushendall against De La Salle last month. A measure of how well Ulster Camogie teams have done in recent times can be gauged by O’Donovan Rossa’s inaugural All Ireland senior club success last November.


Blackwater and Garron Tower know each other quite well having met in the 2008 All Ireland C semi-final, with the northerners losing out 4-4 to 2-2. Both have since stepped up a level, and The Tower received a major fillip recently with the selection of Bronagh Heggarty and Ashling Ward on the Ulster College‘s team. They also avail of the expertise of hurling coaches in the Cushendall club as well as Johnny McIntosh who is at present training the Down hurling team.


Hopes are high if goalkeeper Noleen Cosgrove, Ciara Campbell and Heggarty can deliver, as well as Maeve Connolly and Alex McLaughlin at midfield, that their attackers Mairi Mulvenna, Ward, and Fionnuala McDonnell could apply the finishing touches.


Sound like a game not to be missed either.


All Ireland senior C College’s final:

Ratoath, 12.30pm.

St Colm’s Draperstown (Co Derry) v Grennan College Thomastown, Co Kilkenny.


Another big day for Ulster with St Colm’s High School, Draperstown taking on Grennan College Kilkenny in their first All-Ireland final. Last year they lost out to St MacNissi’s in the provincial C decider, with the majority of that side remaining.


Starting out an Ulster title was the aim. The team didn’t disappoint defeating St. Louis Kilkeel in the final. This was a thrilling game, which led to an All-Ireland semi-final victory against Connacht champions Mercy Roscommon.


Many of the St Colm’s panel have experienced success at All-Ireland level through Feile for their clubs, Ballinascreen & Swatragh and Derry U-16’s. Still, they know it is never easy beat the Black and Amber, who will be endeavouring to bring home two All Ireland titles this weekend.


Grennan College Thomastown overcame Mercy of Waterford to get to this final, and had to be at their best to advance. A goal from Aine Lannon plus a sterling display between the posts from Grace Clarke giving them the edge.


However, Mercy were buoyant, and in the second half went all out to cut the three point deficit. A goal from Tricia Jackman did the trick. But, when the hard questions were asked, Grennan College were not found wanting. Points from Kelly Hamilton, Lannon, and Kiera Barcoe eventually yielded the Kilkenny girls a two point cushion.

Manager Tom Ryan was very pleased with the outcome, and he will again look to Lannon, Sinead Stapleton, Annette Reddy, Jane Cullen, Shauna Carroll and Megan Farrell for inspiration.

A mouth-watering curtain-raiser to whet the appetite.




















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